(Minghui.org) In “Fa Teaching at the 2013 Western U.S. Fa Conference,” Teacher said:
“There are an increasing number of tourist groups from mainland China nowadays. This is an arrangement for people to hear the truth in a different setting. Our truth-clarification sites are, in fact, the front line—the front line for clarifying the truth.”
After reading these words from Teacher and several related articles on Minghui, I realized the importance of sharing my experience of telling others about Falun Gong during my own travels.
Prior to cultivation, I rarely traveled anywhere due to poor health. After beginning to practice Falun Gong in January 2003, my health quickly improved. I subsequently decided to join a Southeastern Asia tour in April 2005, as well as several domestic tours in China afterward.
I found them all to be good opportunities to meet new people and share with them facts of Falun Gong. I am hoping my experience could be helpful to overseas practitioners.
This tour lasted 15 days and it included Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. At that time, Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party was already available. I gave some copies to the travel agents when booking the trip, and I also looked for opportunities to talk with other people in the group—both tourists and tour guides.
The tour guide in Hong Kong made some negative comments about Falun Gong, but I quickly corrected him. When we arrived in Singapore, the tour guide there had similar opinions and warned us not to accept materials from Falun Gong practitioners. Otherwise, we were told, Chinese Embassy agents would document our trouble-making with photos. These words made me feel bad, but I was unsure of what to do. Later, when our group arrived at a resort, none of the tourists took copies of the Nine Commentaries that practitioners were distributing.
I told a local practitioner there what had happened. He reminded me to explain the facts of Falun Gong to the tour guide in order to prevent such things from recurring.
During a break I chatted with Ellen, the tour guide. I brought up what she said on the tour bus, and then I told her about Falun Gong based on my own experiences. She was sorry and said she wouldn't do that again.
Similarly, I talked with many tour guides on the trip and the results were very good.
At most of the restaurants, shopping centers, and hotels we visited, there were always lots of Chinese tourists. When I signed the visitor registries in those places, I often I wrote “Falun Dafa is good” or “The world needs Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” My hope was that more Chinese people could learn the truth, after being misled by the overwhelming hate propaganda in Mainland China.
The first stop on the trip was Hong Kong. As we arrived at a tourist area, several local practitioners welcomed us and handed us some materials. I joined them for a while and called out “Falun Dafa is good!”
There were 19 tourists in the group including me. I sat at different places each time during meals, so as to take advantage of the opportunity to talk with each of them individually so that everyone had a chance to learn the truth.
After leaving Hong Kong, we traveled to Singapore and then Thailand. As we arrived in Thailand, practitioners approached us distributing Nine Commentaries and other materials. To encourage other tourists, I picked up a copy and said, “This news looks very interesting; we can't read it in China. We should all check it out.” Other tourists became curious then, and most of them accepted the materials.
During breaks I also talked with tourists from other groups. I spoke with them individually, so that they would not worry about others' opinions and would be more willing to hear what I had to say.
Because I told the facts of Falun Gong to many members of the tour group, the negative comments made by the Singapore tour guide did not affect them much as we traveled through Thailand to Malaysia. By the time we arrived there, their attitudes had become ever more positive. For instance, there was a couple that had been sitting next to me, and when we met local practitioners at a tour site, the husband even greeted the practitioners by saying, “Falun Dafa is great!” He even accepted more materials.
Besides the Southeastern Asian trip, I also traveled to Korea when my daughter got married there in January 2007. There were about 40 Chinese people in this group, and I talked with them during luggage check-in, the security check, and on the plane. After hearing about the crimes of the communist regime, especially the persecution of Falun Gong, half of them agreed to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations.
I continued to tell the facts of Falun Gong to people around me on a daily basis. Occasionally, I joined domestic tour groups to find more people and explain the truth to them.
From my experience, very few travel agents and tour guides had heard these facts. Interestingly, most of them were very receptive and willing to quit the CCP once they heard the truth. Especially when I clarified the truth during the travel booking discussions, the travel agents usually had a very good attitude and listened attentively.
There are two types of tour guides: those who work for the travel agencies and always accompany the touring groups, and those who only work at individual tourist sites. Because of their profession, I believe that they usually do not have many opportunities to meet practitioners. On the other hand, they are quite knowledgeable and willing to talk.
With this in mind, I believe that we can take proactive approaches and start conversations with these people. During conversation, we can figure out their cultural background, and thus come up with some relevant talking points. As long as we have strong righteous thoughts and do it with our hearts, things will work out well.
Once I met with a religious tour guide. When I told him to quit the CCP for a good future, he said he only believed in his religion—nothing else. I told him that I respected his right to his beliefs, but on the other hand, the communist theory—atheistic and promoting violence—is contradictory to most religions. Therefore, by quitting the CCP and securing a good future, he would be responsible to his beliefs and himself. In the end, he accepted my suggestion.
Getting along well with other tourists and being considerate of them is very important. Especially when sharing a room with others, I always let the other person choose the bed of her preference. Behaviors like this leave a positive impression with others, making it easier for them to accept my words later.
I always try to chat with other members of the group individually during picture-taking or shopping, and tell them the facts about Falun Gong. In upscale shopping malls, I also talk with the staff in shops. During mountain climbing or similar activities, which often take several hours to complete, I am often able to meet and talk with a lot of people.
Once another practitioner and I took a 15-day trip to Southern China. Between the two of us, we persuaded nearly 300 people to quit the CCP. We talked with people both in our group and in other groups, as well as to local residents.
When traveling to various places in the past few years, I have noticed some difference between regions on how much people know about Falun Gong:
People in rural areas of Southern China are sincere and humble; they quickly accepted what I said and quit the CCP as well as its affiliated organizations.
In some areas of Northeastern China, people already knew the facts of Falun Gong well. When I traveled to Fushun City, Liaoning Province, everyone I spoke with had already quit the CCP or its affiliated organizations, except for two vendors from another city. When I was able to tell them the facts, they agreed to quit, too.
People have been severely misled by slanderous propaganda in some developed regions such as Shenzhen City in Guandong Province, and Hainan Province. Once I talked with a local resident near the beach, and it took nearly an hour before he agreed to quit the CCP.
In Sichuan Province, and some northwestern provinces, where the Communist Party had a strong presence during the civil war in the 1940s, people have been deeply misled by propaganda. In one area which was recovering from an earthquake, every home had the national flag hung in front of the house. People have been negatively influenced there and it is hard to convince them otherwise.
It is also difficult for people in temples to learn the truth, due to various interference. The situation is usually much better outside those areas.
I also had some unique experiences in Shanghai. Unlike other places I visited, most people I spoke with had not heard about quitting the CCP. I told them the facts about Falun Gong, one after another, and more than half I spoke to agreed to quit the CCP or its affiliated organizations upon learning the facts.
I think we need to do better in all these regions.
In “Let Go of Human Attachments and Save the World’s People,” Teacher said,
“For a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple, personal liberation is not the goal of cultivation: when you came, saving sentient beings was your great aspiration, and that is the responsibility and mission history has bestowed upon you in Fa-rectification. Thus great numbers of beings are to be saved by you.”